Top 13 Motorcycle Oils in 2020 – Review & Buying Guide
If you are interested in purchasing the best motorcycle oil for the money, but you don’t know what products are worth considering, we are here to help. After reading specialized reviews and after analyzing what previous buyers of such products had to say, we have concluded that the Shell Rotella T6 Synthetic is the oil that you should consider before placing an order. This product is said to be a more economical type of oil than the 15W-40 oils sold by Rotella. What is more, it can protect your engine against harmful wear, and it is said to have an improved heat resistance than many similar products. As a result, this item can resist breakdown by heat. If it is unavailable, feel free to check out the HONDA 08C35-A141L01 as it is another type of oil that you might also find suitable for your ride.
This economical choice is well liked by previous users. The oil is both efficient and capable of protecting the motor of your bike. Because it is compatible with the emission system of your ride, its formula won’t block or poison the exhaust fumes. Also, it can resist breakdown by heat.
A handful of previous buyers noted that the container that they had received was cracked and that part of the oil was spilled. However, this rarely happens.
This choice can ensure less oil consumption than other similar counterparts. Additionally, the product is not only efficient but also budget friendly.
If you are in search for an alternative that was specially created to be used by motorcyclists and ATV riders, you should not overlook this oil. This option has an excellent shear resistance, and it has plenty of viscosity. As a plus, it can make your engine sound like new!
The only drawback that users reported was that it is a tad overpriced. Yet, they are happy with the results they get after using it.
According to the seller, this oil was developed to be used on Honda engines. Still, you can use it with other engines as well and still get excellent results.
This oil is said to have an excellent resistance to high temperatures and to deliver a longer lubricant life. As a plus, if used regularly, this choice guarantees a longer life of the components. It can be used during the cold and the warm season alike.
There have been buyers that were unhappy that the product made their bikes a little too noisy than expected. Not many considered this an issue.
Because this is a fully synthetic product, this is one of those oils which can supply you with superior mechanical performance and reduced engine wear.
13 Best Motorcycle Oils (Reviews) in 2020
The task of finding the best oil for motorcycles is not easy, especially if you don’t know much about this topic. To help you out, we have composed a list of highly-appreciated products that are well liked by both users and the specialists. Because of this, we consider them fitting oils for your motorcycle.
- 1. Shell Rotella T6 Full Synthetic Heavy Duty Engine Oil 5W-40
- 2. Honda 4 Stroke Engine Oil 10W30
- 3. Lucas Oil 10278 Engine Stop Leak
- 4. Castrol Power 1 Racing 4T 10W40 Motorcycle Engine Oil
- 5. Mobil 1 103436 Motor Oil 1 Quart
- 6. Red Line RED42504 20W-50 Motorcycle Oil
- 7. Castrol 06112 POWER 1 4T 10W-40 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil
- 8. Polaris 2877883 OEM VES Full Synthetic Oil
- 9.Indian Thunder Stroke Oil Change Kit
- 10. Spectro Golden 4 10W40 Semi Synthetic Oil
- This Year’s Buying Guide
- Frequently asked questions
- Best motorcycle oil brands
1. Shell Rotella T6 Full Synthetic Heavy Duty Engine Oil 5W-40
If you want an economical type of oil that has been vetted by fellow motorcycles owners, check out the T6 Synthetic sold by Shell Rotella. This product is worth your attention because, when compared to other oils made by the same manufacturer, this delivers an enhanced fuel capability of 1.5%, while still not compromising when it comes to the protection of the engine.
On top of that, this product consists of a combination of synthetic base oils and multi-functional dispersant additives that can protect your engine against the effects of debris and other contaminants.
As a plus, the low-ash formula of the oil can help fight the poisoning of the exhaust, so that the emissions of the engine are in compliance with the imposed standards. This is a conventional oil, meaning that it was extracted from petroleum products and/or refined crude oils. Because of this feature, it is safe to say that this oil is highly versatile.
One of the aspects that make this Shell Rotella oil one that you should take into consideration is the 1.5% fuel capability improvement, but without diminishing the engine protection ensured.
Thanks to the effective formula that combines multi-functional additives with synthetic base oils, your vehicle’s engine is protected against any potential debris or contaminants.
You should also know that this oil sports a low-ash formula that means the exhaust substances are kept within legal requirements.
Made of crude oils, this product is a conventional one, and this is a great thing because it means it’s highly versatile and that you can use it more than once.
In rare cases, the oil might leak inside the package, but this is not something that you should be concerned about.
The package itself might be improved according to some reviews, even though the product itself works great, so this is not really an issue.
2. Honda 4 Stroke Engine Oil 10W30
A best seller in this line of products, this Honda alternative is also worth your while. This price-efficient oil was specially created to suit the needs of ATVs and motorcycles. It is highly liked because it is developed by a manufacturer that has made a name for itself in this business.
Furthermore, this one has a better shear resistance than many other available oils, and it features sufficient viscosity and stability so that you get what you pay for. Moreover, differently from other cheaper alternatives, this product is better for your engine, as it can protect it from abrasion. According to current users, if you decide to invest in this, you will definitely hear your engine running smoother and sounding better.
Although it was formulated to be used with Honda engines, many motorcyclists that ride motorbikes made by different manufacturers also consider this a good purchase, as it caters to the needs of their engines. This manufacturer also produces reliable ATV mud tires.
Specially made for motorcycles and ATVs, this Honda oil bears within its formula the brand’s know-how when it comes to ensuring superior engine performance.
One of the aspects that make this oil one you should take a closer look at is the high quality offered at an affordable price compared to other similar options.
The improved shear resistance the formula ensures comes with multiple benefits, especially when it comes to better overall engine performance.
Many of those who have given this Honda oil a try have noticed improvements in the way the engine sounds and runs, so you shouldn’t hesitate to try it yourself.
You should take a good look at the package’s quantity when you place your order, to make sure you get enough.
The oil might leak during the delivery process, but such instances were rarely reported, so it shouldn’t be an issue.
3. Lucas Oil 10278 Engine Stop Leak
Another synthetic motor oil that you might also like is the Lucas Oil 10702-PK6. This guarantees longer lubricant life and resistance to high temperatures. What is more, it is said to make less noise and to cause fewer leaks than standard oils.
On top of that, this high-performance oil can actually deliver longer component life, which is great if you also make sure to keep your battery healthy with the help of one of the high-tech motorcycle battery chargers. Furthermore, this product has an SAE viscosity rating of 20 when used in cold temperatures and a rating of 50 at regular temperatures.
Differently from the other oils that we have previously talked about, this is a fully synthetic product. In other words, it was created using no type of crude oil. Consequently, you can expect it to deliver reduced engine wear and superior mechanical performance when compared with traditional motor lubricants.
This oil offered by Lucas is another very good choice, given that it ensures the necessary engine protection and it’s resistant to high temperatures as well.
The many properties this formula includes also make it a cost-effective alternative, given that you won’t need to change it more often than necessary based on your engine’s needs.
Based on what many of those who have tried it stated, you will most probably notice an improvement in terms of the engine’s noise as well as a decrease in potential leaks.
This is a fully synthetic oil and, depending on what your motorcycle needs and on what many experts claim, there’s a lower chance to deal with engine wear in the long run.
If you do notice any leaks even after adding this oil, then you should have an expert take a look at your vehicle.
Make sure that you buy a large enough quantity for the engine.
4. Castrol Power 1 Racing 4T 10W40 Motorcycle Engine Oil
With a formula that actually clings to the parts of your engine that need wear protection, the Castrol 06130 Actevo is another type of oil that should make it to your shortlist. It also provides protection against carbon deposits created from the high temperatures and, as a result, it can enable the engine to supply the user with excellent performance for a long period of time.
Additionally, this oil is suitable for both fuel injected and carburetor units. The product is said to exceed the standards laid out by the industry (API SL and the JASO MA-2). The manufacturer and seller of this is known for producing high-quality racing fuel.
Apart from protecting the motor of a motorcycle, this oil is also great at providing increased protection for your clutch and gearbox. However, before making an investment, you should know that this is a partly synthetic product and not a fully synthetic one.
One of the first things you might want to know about this Castrol oil is that it ensures protection against those carbon deposits that can sometimes form at high temperatures.
If you decide to try this Castrol product for your vehicle, you have every chance of noticing a significant improvement in your vehicle’s performance.
Another characteristic that makes this product one you might want to consider is the fact that it works for both carburetor and fuel-injected units.
This partly synthetic oil does a great job in protecting not only your bike’s engine but the gearbox and clutch as well.
The packaging might be a bit improved, given that in certain cases it leaked, even though this is not something that frequently happens.
You should take a close look at the necessary quantities and make sure you order enough for your vehicle.
5. Mobil 1 103436 Motor Oil 1 Quart
If you own a motorcycle tank bag filled with tools and a proper maintenance kit, you probably have heard about the Mobil 1 103436 before. This product can provide you with extra stability so that you do not have to deal with a lower viscosity in your engine and transmission components.
As a plus, this oil delivers more lubrication than you might expect, so that the engine maintains maximum power and acceleration. Furthermore, this product guarantees an optimized wet-clutch engagement that you will certainly appreciate.
Another feature is the fact that it can protect your ride against engine oxidation. Also, by using this, you will no longer have to worry about high-temperature degradation. The product is 100% synthetic and, therefore, worth the investment.
At the time of our research on this product, the reviews were outstanding. Most of its users noted that since they have begun using it, their motorcycles sound better and run smoother than ever.
If you want an oil that maintains the right viscosity level for a long time, thus protecting the transmission and the engine, this Mobil 1 formula is the one that you need.
Given that this oil is specially made to ensure superior lubrication you won’t have to deal with premature engine wear, and the vehicle’s performance in terms of power and acceleration will be enhanced as well.
The formula also comes with anti-oxidation capabilities, as well as with high temperature-resistance for superior results.
This is a fully synthetic oil that has received a large number of great reviews, which says a lot about the benefits it has to offer, so you should certainly keep it in mind.
Some reviews stated that the package leaked during delivery, but this is not something that happens often.
Even though this is a versatile oil, you should make sure that it fits your vehicle’s needs.
6. Red Line RED42504 20W-50 Motorcycle Oil
The RED42504 20W-50 is another product that you should have in mind. This oil was specially designed to be used with motorcycles with engines such as the Harley-Davidson-produced Twin Cam and Evolution.
It is a good purchase because it can actually reduce the thinning effect caused by high temperatures. Moreover, this oil features higher levels of anti-wear substances like phosphorus and zinc so that the engine is protected at all times.
Additionally, because it contains special friction modifiers, this type of oil can better the wet-clutch operation of any motorcycle. If you start using it, you will definitely see instant improvements when it comes to the transmission. In other words, you will end up with smoother, quieter shifts.
However, this product is considered rather expensive, even when compared with higher-priced units. Yet, the oil has many recurrent buyers that are happy with its performance.
Specially created for motorcycles with powerful engines, this Red Line oil offers a great formula that decreases the thinning effect that other products go through when exposed to high temperatures.
Also, when it comes to the formula, you may want to know that this one includes a higher concentration of anti-wear substances, which means prolonged protection for your engine.
The friction modifiers included in this oil improve the wet-clutch performance and, if we are to consider the multiple positive reviews it got, you will see an improvement when riding your motorcycle right away.
Besides the engine, the transmission is also protected and its performance increased, so that’s another reason for which you should consider this oil as a great alternative.
For some users, this oil seems to be on the expensive side of the price range.
The product might leak during delivery, but this is not an issue signaled by many previous buyers.
7. Castrol 06112 POWER 1 4T 10W-40 Synthetic Motorcycle Oil
Another reliable product that should not be overlooked is the Castrol 06112 1 4T 10W-40. This product was developed in such a way so that it fits the needs of bikers that love the thrill of riding. This oil is full-synthetic, and it has been extensively tested and modified in order to deliver superior acceleration.
Besides, the oil is said to minimize the internal engine friction and to exceed the specifications imposed by the JASO MA-2 and the API SL. It can be used for all types of fuel-injected and carbureted vehicles.
Still, before you buy this oil, you might want to take the time to check whether or not the manufacturer of your vehicle recommends it for your type of engine. Just like other Castrol products, this oil is highly appreciated by current users because of its reliability.
A fully synthetic oil, this Castrol product was specially made for those riders who are seeking thrilling experiences and have powerful engines.
The manufacturer has tested and then adapted the oil in order to provide the superior results any biker wants and needs, especially in terms of acceleration.
The fact that the oil can be used for both carburetor and fuel-injected vehicles makes it a versatile choice.
The engine’s internal friction is significantly reduced thanks to the superior formula, so you can rest assured that you will be able to enjoy riding your motorcycle for a long time.
Even though we are talking about a versatile product, you should still make sure that it’s suitable for your vehicle so you might want to ask an expert beforehand.
The packaging might be improved, as it arrived with leaks in a few cases, but this also depends on the conditions in which it is delivered.
8. Polaris 2877883 OEM VES Full Synthetic Oil
If you are a seasoned biker, this is probably not the first time when you hear about Polaris. The 2877883 OEM VES has been approved by the specialists as a quality oil that can ensure the protection of your engine.
On top of that, this product has been specially formulated so that your engine will start even when the temperatures are very low. Furthermore, it can inhibit the formation of rust and corrosion.
Because this is a fully synthetic base lubricant, you should not worry about engine suffering damage because of wear. According to the seller, the oil has been designed to be used for variable exhaust systems, including all Polaris 2-cycle engines.
Overall the product has good ratings, and it is considered a good purchase, especially because of the many features that it includes. Still, some users have complained about the price of the product.
A popular brand among experts, Polaris offers a reliable oil that is specially made to ensure you can use your vehicle even during very low outside temperatures.
The formula also contains various substances that prevent rust and corrosion, which means that your engine will be in top shape for a long time.
It is fully synthetic so you can rest assured that the engine will not be exposed to premature and unnecessary wear, which means that you will be able to enjoy your bike longer.
You should also know that this Polaris oil is a versatile choice, given that it can be used for vehicles with different exhaust systems.
Some of the reviews mention the price as being rather high compared to other engine oils.
In one case, the product that was delivered came with a package that differed from the one listed on the seller’s website.
9.Indian Thunder Stroke Oil Change Kit
If you are a new biker that is still learning about how to use a motorcycle jump starter and how to change the oil, we recommend that you take a look at this kit sold by Indian Motorcycle. In fact, it includes everything that one might need when doing an entire oil change.
In other words, the kit comes with two washers, an oil filter and 5.5 quarts of semi-synthetic motor oil. To help you do the change correctly, the seller has included an instructions manual that features all the steps that you have to take in order to complete the task successfully.
If you have any issues with the item, it is best that you contact the manufacturer, as it is known to offer excellent customer services. Still, you should understand that, just as the description suggests, this oil is not entirely synthetic. Therefore, you should not expect it to perform at the same standards.
This kit is just what you need if you are less experienced when it comes to using a jump starter and changing your vehicle’s oil.
Besides being very easy to use, the kit comes with everything you need to get the job done on your own, and this is always helpful when you are just discovering what a bike is all about.
Besides the filter, oil, and washers included, the kit also comes with a clear instruction manual that guides you through every step of the process.
One aspect mentioned by multiple reviews is the good customer service provided, so if you face any difficulty, you will be able to get assistance.
You should make sure that all of the elements of this kit are compatible with your vehicle before buying it.
This is a semi-synthetic oil, so that’s something you should keep in mind if you are a fan of fully synthetic alternatives.
10. Spectro Golden 4 10W40 Semi Synthetic Oil
Another similar product that you should check out is the Spectro Golden 4 10W40. This lubricant has been formulated for use in high-performance engines. In order to do so successfully, the lubricant incorporates a blend of synthetic base oils as well as superior quality petroleum oils.
Extra anti-wear additives have been added to it so that the engine on your motorcycle is protected for an extended period of time. Moreover, because of the high viscosity of the product, the internal systems of your ride will be protected against damages caused by extreme heat.
As a plus, the life of the components is also elongated if you decide to use this type of lubricant. If you have not used a semi-synthetic oil before, the seller guarantees that you can do so without fearing that you will have to take additional, special steps to do so.
Spectro Golden’s product was specially created for high-performance engines, which means that if you have a powerful motorcycle, this is probably the right solution for you.
The formula combines high-quality synthetic base oils with petroleum ones, a blend that renders superior reviews, especially if we are to take into account the many positive reviews the product received.
Thanks to the anti-wear additives that this Spectro Golden oil includes, the engine is protected for a long time, and the same goes for other components.
Furthermore, the high viscosity level means that the engine is not exposed to potential damages that might otherwise appear when operating at high temperatures.
This is a semi-synthetic oil, which means that those who prefer 100% synthetic ones might want to be aware of this.
In case you order this product, keep in mind that in extremely rare cases it might leak within the package.
11. Polaris PS-4 Oil Change
Another practical kit that you might also find suitable is the Polaris PS-4 Oil Change. It comes with a special oil filter and up to 2.5 quarts of oil. Previous buyers of the item have said that it is highly functional and versatile and that very easy to use.
As a plus, many of those who have purchased this item before have claimed that this kit is user-oriented and that it can also be utilized by those motorcycle enthusiasts that have not changed the oil of a ride before.
Last but not least, it is worth showing that, differently from other items, this product does not have as many reviews. Because of this, we advise in favor of asking fellow bikers whether or not they have enjoyed using the unit, as this can help you get a good understanding of its features.
This Polaris kit is another great alternative that you can go for, especially if you are not so familiar with the process of changing the oil yourself.
This product is very easy to use and versatile, so you shouldn’t have any difficulties in figuring out what you are supposed to do in every step of the process so you can get the job done.
The oil included in the kit is a fully synthetic one, which means that the engine is protected against wear, and riders who prefer this type of product will surely appreciate this fact.
If you decide to give this Polaris kit a try, you will get everything you need to be ready for the riding season, so you shouldn’t hesitate to take a closer look at it.
You should make sure that all of the elements included in this kit work with your motorcycle.
The packaging could be improved, according to some reviews.
12. Suzuki LT-Z250 Kit
Another price-efficient kit that you might like is the Suzuki LT-Z250. When shipped, it includes three quarts of Suzuki 4-Cycle motorcycle oil, a filter, and a crush washer. The lubricant included in the deal is said to ensure excellent oiling to your 4-stroke engine and to help prevent the rusting of the internal parts of the unit.
The kit is liked by users because it comes with all the extra elements that one might need when making an oil change. As expected, the unit is warmly recommended, especially to those users that are not that experienced when it comes to caring for their bikes.
All in all, this kit is worth the money and likely to be considered a good acquisition. If you have any other questions about the product, feel free to contact the manufacturer and ask for further info and/or clarifications.
If you want a complete kit to change the oil, this Suzuki one is surely an alternative to keep in mind, given that it includes motorcycle oil, a crush washer, as well as a filter.
The oil works well with 4-stroke engines and is specially formulated to ensure anti-rust capabilities, which means that the engine protection is longer.
This product is highly recommended to those less experienced with changing a bike’s oil, so if you find yourself in this situation then you might want to try it out.
The formula also includes anti-corrosion properties, which is always a good idea when it comes to keeping your engine in top shape.
Given that this is a kit, you should make sure that all of the items included are compatible with your vehicle’s engine.
In rare cases, the package might leak a bit during transportation, but this is something pointed out by just a few previous buyers.
13. Castrol MTX 12376
If you are in the market for a type of oil that can be used for your racing 2/4-stroke engine, look no further than the Castrol MTX 12376. It provides the motorcycle with exceptional film strength so that the life of your transmission is extended.
What is more, the advanced formula developed by the manufacturer guarantees that this libricant can stand up to the shearing action produced by the gears. On top of that, you should also know that this oil can actively reduce noise as well as faster gear changing.
According to the seller, this product is API GL-5 rated. In other words, it meets the highest standards out there. In conclusion, given all these features, the former buyers of the product recommend it to those that need a reliable oil that is suitable for race motorcycles. So, give it a go!
This Castrol product is a highly versatile oil that works well for racing 2 and 4-stroke engines and that brings the brand’s world-renowned know-how when it comes to superior riding performance.
The film created by the oil is a strong one, which means that both the engine and the transmission are protected for a long time.
Given that we’re talking about an advanced formula, the shearing action that results when the gears are working is not going to become an issue.
According to many reviews, this oil also reduces the engine’s noise, while the gears are changed faster, which translates into an overall superior experience for the rider.
Even though we’re talking about a versatile alternative, you should still check with an expert and make sure that it’s suitable for your motorcycle.
In this case, as well, there might be some leaks during delivery, but this is not an issue that is frequently pointed out.
This Year’s Buying Guide
If you are scouring the net in hopes of finding the best motorcycle motor oil available, we are here to help. After going through numerous reviews, we have constructed a comprehensive list of features that should not be overlooked when trying to buy a product of this kind.
Type of oils
To purchase the best motorcycle engine oil money can get you, it is vital that you understand the different types of lubricants that are currently available online. By doing so, your chances of ending up with a product that you trust will be greatly increased. From this point of view, one can choose between three options, conventional oil, synthetic oil, and semi-synthetic products.
Firstly, there is the conventional oil. This type of product is also called natural oil. Usually, it consists of refined crude oils that have been mixed with additives that neutralize acids. Moreover, some brands also use friction modifiers that can improve lubrication so that you don’t run out of the product easily.
Additionally, if you own a classic motorcycle, it is advisable that you stick to this type of oil, as these units tend to require plenty of lubrication.
Secondly, synthetic oil are some of the most popular products today. They only began to be appreciated in later years, once the technology was able to improve their capabilities. As a result, nowadays synthetic oils are the most durable out there, as they cannot disintegrate as easily as the natural products.
Furthermore, most seasoned mechanics are in favor of synthetic oil because they can lubricate the engine, gear and the clutch of a bike for a long period of time. However, it is essential that you know that not all motorcycles can run on this type of oil. Therefore, if you have an older model, chances are that you will have to stick to mineral oil.
Last but not least, semi-synthetic oils should also be considered. They are recommended to be used with motors that have a weight range in between 125 and 180 cc. The most significant advantage of these lubricants is that they combine the protection provided by natural oils with the high performance of synthetic ones.
What are the advantages of replacing the oil on your bike?
According to motorcycle oils reviews, changing the oil on your motorcycle is something that brings considerable advantages. However, just like the decision to buy new motorcycle tires, this choice depends on a series of factors that you should have in mind. For instance, it is crucial that you consider the age of the engine and the extent of its use.
Therefore, investing in a good motorcycle oil can lead to the better performance of the engine and the improvement of fuel consumption. Likewise, quality oils can prologue the lifespan of such parts like the transmission and, because of the added lubrication, they can minimize the fiction in the parts of the engine.
What is more, no matter if you buy a cheap motorcycle oil or a more expensive product, the engine on your ride will no longer be contaminated by debris and dirt and, thus, you will be supplied with more power.
Still, before making an investment, you should know that not every motorcycle oil for sale might be compatible with your bike. In fact, different types of engines require different features. As a result, it is best that you take the time to verify whether the lubricant that you want to buy is suitable for your ride.
On top of that, the effectiveness of the oil also depends on the viscosity of the product. Usually, viscosity can tell you more about how a certain oil will perform when exposed to high temperatures.
Even more so, most oils out there also contain additives that can improve some engine functions. Such an additive is a detergent, a substance that can be found in most lubricants and that acts as a remover of the debris in the engine.
Extra info that you should also consider
If you have never owned a motorcycle before, or if you have not changed the oil before, the specialists recommend that, when doing this for the first time, you purchase a special kit that comes supplied with all that you need. Still, if you don’t like the kits that you can find online, you should purchase the oil that you prefer as well as the best motorcycle oil filter you can get your hands on.
Another important piece of info that you should know is the standard(s) that your motorcycle manufacturer recommends. Most sellers suggest that you opt for JASO, SAE or API certifications.
Moreover, your decision to purchase a certain type of oil should also be based on your personal riding style and the type of bike that you own.
Besides, just like acquiring carbon fiber helmets, if you are uncertain of what to pick, it is best that you go online and read what other user had to say about distinct products. In fact, feedback comments can help you weigh your possibilities and make an informed decision. As a plus, you could also ask fellow riders that own the same type of motorcycle as you do for recommendations.
Last but not least, before we finish this guide, we feel like it is our responsibility to remind you that you should not base your decision entirely on the price of a product. As we have explained above, not all types of oils are suitable for all bikes. Because of this, even if you buy an expensive unit, if that oil is not good for your ride, chances are that you will not be happy with the results.
In conclusion, similarly to our discussion about motorcycle backpacks, we suggest that you think about the aspects that we have explained and that you pick a product that best fits your needs. If you do so, we are confident that you will end up with a type of oil that won’t disappoint.
Choosing the best motorcycle oil for your bike can be a tough thing to manage if you don’t know some tips and tricks of the trade. Whether you’re in the biz or not, buying oil for motorcycles requires some knowledge and a certain level of skill. All of this comes in addition to the known fact that people have to look at some specific things when making such a purchase.
Your engine’s temperature is always something to take care of because if you don’t, not even the best oil in the world can save you if it’s too late. Remember to check your bike’s weight because this is one of the main factors when choosing what product to buy. It also helps if you know that API stands for the American Petroleum Institute and all of the best motorcycle oils have to meet their expectations.
Don’t lose yourself in the characteristics of the individual products so much as to forget that you have some guidelines to follow. The oil’s viscosity is another important element to consider – whether it’s synthetic or mineral oils we’re talking about – since the additives are always a factor. Therefore, there’s a level of balance here since any good owner protects his bike and tries to ensure proper performance for the engine and clutch.
What is viscosity?
In layman’s terms, viscosity talks about the level of thickness or the fluid’s tendency to flow at some variable rate. What people often forget is that on motorcycle oil cans, they can find the actual figure written as “10W-30”. The “W” stands for “winters” and it represents how the cold will impact the oil’s flow and how the substance will react to a decrease in temperature.
The second number in that notation obviously represents the viscosity when we’re talking about a hotter temperature. The increased heat is said to make the best motorcycle oil thinner but, regardless of that, a good product (mineral or synthetic) protects your bike no matter how the weather looks like due to its overall stability – so, for example, summer heat won’t affect your bike’s performance.
While most experts agree that a little thicker oil is generally what’s best for motorcycles these days because it ensures good lubrication among the moving metal parts such as the clutch, this can still cause problems in the cold since we can’t say the lower temperature helps the fluid reach every metal part of the machinery.
Types of motorcycle oils
Generally speaking, there are two types of motorcycle oils, clearly differentiated by the level of different elements found in them and by how they were designed. Because people often fail to understand this difference, they also fail in choosing something that protects their bike in the best way and offers an increased life expectancy for each and every metal part.
Fully synthetic motorcycle oils are considered to be the best in the world since their quality is top-notch and they never degrade. Fully synthetic oils work on a different level when it comes to specific things such as increasing the performance of the bike’s engine. They are created from the refinement or processing of man-made chemicals as opposed to mineral oils that are made from crude oil.
On the other hand, synthetic or semi-synthetic oils are designed as a mixture of mineral and synthetic oils. The way this is achieved is by processing them together in order to get the maximum benefits from both of them and create the best motorcycle oil possible that offers proper lubrication for metal parts, high performance, and stability, no matter the temperature.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Is there any difference between car oil and motorcycle oil?
While some people might feel tempted to believe that the two are the same, there are some significant differences you must bear in mind. As far as their formulas are concerned, motorcycle oil and car oil are pretty similar, but motorcycle oil has some critical added components that are particular to how such a vehicle functions.
For instance, motorcycle oil doesn’t contain particular modifiers present in car oil that cater to how the transmission must be cooled and lubricated. Car oil must ensure that the friction is decreased to a minimum, but, for motorcycles, such modifiers are not necessary, as their motors do not present the same levels of friction in the transmission area.
Also, motorcycle oil is created to break down viscosity at a quicker rate, to make it available for the motor. This is an essential part of caring properly for a motorcycle motor, and that is why it’s never advisable to use car oil instead.
Q: What oil does a motorcycle use?
While it is essential that you use only motorcycle oil for your bike, this doesn’t mean that you are constrained to use only a certain brand or a single formula. For instance, you can choose from mineral oils, synthetic oils, and semi-synthetic oils. Each one of them has certain advantages, so you should take a close look at the available options before making a decision.
Small-capacity engines work best with mineral oils, and if you just got yourself a new ride, you will discover that it’s much better to get this type of oil. Mineral oils offer excellent protection for new engines, as well.
Synthetic oils are excellent, too, but a deterrent may be the price that tends to be pretty expensive. However, you can ensure a long life for your motorcycle if you use them. Semi-synthetic oils are a mix of the two mentioned, and they appear to work mainly for medium-sized engines.
Q: Where do I put oil in my motorcycle?
The procedure of changing the oil for your motorcycle is not complicated. It actually takes more time to drain the old oil from your vehicle than putting in new oil. In case you wonder where you must put the new oil, things are pretty straightforward and simple.
There is a special container for oil that you must fill using a funnel. Make sure that you check the owner’s manual provided to you when you purchased your motorcycle. The instructions there will tell you know how much oil you must put inside.
You will notice that the container is on one side and has a cap that must be removed. Wear gloves if you don’t want to get your hands dirty and get some protective gear so that you don’t end up with a lot of grease stains on yourself. Make sure that you drain the old oil completely before putting new oil in.
Q: How much oil does a motorcycle need?
It is always a good idea to follow the instructions provided by the owner’s manual when you attempt an oil change for your motorcycle. Still, most motorcycles require about the same quantity of oil, so the following instructions apply for most cases.
First things first, drain the old oil entirely so that your motorcycle can take full advantage of the oil change. After that, you need to transfer 3 quarts of motorcycle oil into the container specialized for this purpose. When you do so, ensure that your motorcycle is upright. Observe the glass window placed on the side so that you don’t pour too much or too little oil.
Add more oil, until you put in about 3.4 quarts of oil. That’s about all the oil a motorcycle needs, although there might be some variations from one model to another. A rule of thumb is to ensure that you don’t overfill your bike. It is better if you underfill it a little if you’re unsure.
Q: When should I change my oil?
Just like other vehicles, motorcycles need their oil changed from time to time. How often you must do that depends on some factors, such as the type of oil you used last. For instance, if you used mineral oil, after 2,000 miles, you should consider changing it. This oil is cheap, but it doesn’t last long, which is why you need to change it so often.
Semi-synthetic oils are more effective than mineral oils, which is why you should change the oil every 5,000-6,000 miles. Finally, synthetic oils, the most expensive available, must be changed every 7,000-10,000 miles.
Still, if you don’t use your bike that often, you should still consider changing it twice a year. Also, if you use your motorcycle every day, you should pay attention to other aspects. If your motorcycle doesn’t work well and the oil gets dirty, you should change the oil, no matter which type you use or how many miles you have under your belt since the last change.
Best motorcycle oil brands
As all bikers know, Castrol is a company that creates trustworthy vehicle lubricants that always deliver high performance and quality. This brand is one of the most prestigious out there, and it is considered one of those manufacturers that you can safely choose if you need oil for your bike.
This company has made a name for itself, and it is currently one of the biggest retailers of lubricants in the world. Because of its top-notch products, this seller is often recommended by the specialists, which is a reason why you should give it a try.
Similarly to Castrol, Mobil 1 is another brand that has managed to make a name for itself in the business. This company is also quite popular because of its partnership with well-known vehicle producers such as Holden, Chevrolet or Toyota. In fact, one of the officially recommended motorcycle oil brands by Honda is Mobil 1.
Usually, the bikers that have tried the oils sold by this seller were happy with the results. As a plus, you should know that most, if not all the products manufactured by Mobil 1 are synthetic lubricants. Consequently, these oils are great for newer models.
Another manufacturer that you have probably heard of before is Shell. This seller is recognized for producing a wide range of lubricants that can be used on various types of bikes. Moreover, this seller also develops oils that can fit different kinds of riding styles.
The products that Shell manufactures create less friction and they enhance the lifespan of the engines. Besides, this brand distributes mineral oils as well as synthetic and semi-synthetic ones. What is more, if you are a racer, you might also know that Shell has developed a technical partnership with Ducati Corse.
Apart from being a seller of motorcycle goggles, Honda is also a manufacturer and seller of bike oils. Its products stand out because they are highly efficient when it comes to reducing friction and because they guarantee a better high-heat performance than similar counterparts.
Besides, Honda is also in the business of creating and distributing motorcycle GPS units that are highly appreciated by fellow motorcyclists. So, if you like this brand, it might be a good idea to try the oils that it sells. In fact, current users of these products speak highly of them.
Last but definitely not least, Polaris Lubricants is another company worth discussing. This manufacturer sells oils that can help the engine on your motorcycle handle extreme conditions. The products that Polaris Lubricants distributes are usually more affordable than those sold by other companies, which is a reason why the brand is quite popular.
Their oils are usually fortified with corrosion and rust inhibitors, and they guarantee wet clutch protection. Therefore, if you are on a budget, it might be a good idea to give the products made by this company a go as you won’t regret it.